Is Usnet Dying?

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I am on a listserv for cancer support and there is generally never a problam there subscribers from all over the world. There are many other listserv's some moderated and some not. Anyone starts screwing around on them and they pull the plug. There are arguments of course but not flame wars. The guy that runs it ask for donations to help defray his costs once a year and he usually gets enough donations to run longer than the year. When I came on here i actually joined a woodwork listserv, I was getting all the e-mails from this group but when i posted no one got them, I never found out where they went I still do not understand how this newsgroup goes to the listserv but it is based in Indianna.
Some of you Computer Gurus should look into it George

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The format of UseNet is what is so attractive to me ... I just like using my e-mail client to participate and never cared a tinker's damn for web based forums.
However, I participated in an e-book forum for a number of years using a list server and it was almost like being on UseNet, as the _comfort_ of your e-mail client was preserved.
I would not be adverse to trying it again.
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my
your
I wonder how many don't care for web forums? One big advantage would be to have a moderated forum. Be able to block random posters by requiring registration, and being able to step in when a thread gets out of hand.
Usenet still has its place. IIRC, the original reason for Usenet was to give a forum for open expression, especially for politics and other controversial subjects.
Hard to see how a woodworking group needs that freedom of expression, though.
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Keith Carlson wrote:

I hate web forums. For one thing, you have to either type in an editor and then copy/paste onto the form, or else use the crappy editor built into the form. That's probably my #1 reason for hating all such things web-based.

I'm sure there's probably a moderated woodworking forum out there somewhere if you really want one.
Personally, I hate moderation. I wouldn't live in a gated community, or one where there was a homeowner's association either. One of my neighbors lets his grass grow so high he has to bush hog it every second year, but so the hell what? I don't get to tell him to mow it, and he doesn't get to tell me what color I can paint my shed, or how large my mailbox is allowed to be. Suits me just fine.
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On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 01:19:47 -0500, Silvan

I don't mind some web forums, I am active in a couple, but for the most part, web forums are very slow moving and you're right, some have very heavy handed moderation. I've dropped out of at least one major forum because the moderators simply started ending threads and deleting posts they didn't personally agree with.

When we were looking at houses, the #1 requirement was no HOAs. I don't want anyone telling me what to do with my house, I don't want them telling me what I can and can't post either, within reason. I think you have to have some kind of moderation or means of self-moderating the forum, just to deal with the spam and trolls. I'd personally rather do it myself, but so long as actual on-topic content isn't disturbed, I'm content with almost anything.
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Keith Carlson wrote:

I'm on a very active Web forum. StangNet.com
For me the most attractive part of the forum system use to be the ability to edit a post.
I started when the EDU account would only run mail and usenet. A browser could be made to work with a bit of effort. Wasn't worth it on a 286. Had a Compuserve account when it meant something.
Got a better computer, found a mail list I'm still a member of. Other lists came and went. Found some forums. Only go to 2 or 3.
And I'm back on Usenet. Something about plane text and links that's elegant.
No Dancing Cars rims and tires. Though mail programs have these ;) damned things in them.
I think news groups can be easier to read. Definitely easier to archive.
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George M. Kazaka wrote:

You were getting *posts* from this group. Slight difference.
It's pretty common for it to run the other way. There's a linux kernel newsgroup that echoes the contents of the mailing list, but posts to the newsgroup do not go to the list. What you're seeing is the same thing in reverse. They doubtless set it up that way on purpose, and nothing is broken.
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HUH!!! Went right over my head

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<snip> I sometime back, just said the hell with it dealing with the ISP's version of a USENET connection and signed up with Giganews. I dunno offhand how much Gigabytes I can download per month but I doubt if I come close and it runs about $11 and change per month. No worries about missing one of Larry J's 'poils of wisdom' for me. :-))
Said with tongue firmly in cheek. Folla? Tales of a Boatbuilder Apprentice http://pages.sbcglobal.net/djf3rd /
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There were approximately 11 MILLION messages posted in the last 30 days. How does that square with your ISP's comments? IT DOESN'T!! Perhaps they are shirking their duties as "providers" with less than stellar support of the NG's.
dave
Tom Watson wrote:

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*snork* 11 million messages in 30 days is a drop in the bucket. A *full* newsfeed these days (circa 45,000 newsgroups) requires most of the bandwidth of a dedicated T-3 circuit, 24 hrs/day. That is 45 mbit/sec, or 9 Mbyte/sec. The full feed is probably only about 600 *GIGABYTES* of traffic _per_day_.
Well over 90% of that traffic is in the 'alt.binaries.*' hierarchy -- the vast majority of which is "dirty pictures", stolen computer software, etc. 5-10 _million_ MESSAGES PER DAY, *just* in 'alt.binaries.*' hierarchy, is probably realistic, And _at_least_as_many_more_ for the rest of USENET.
Those who do 'know about' USENET tend to use it fairly heavily. Those who "don't know" about it, _don't_use_it_ (oddly enough! :)
Those who "don't know" outnumber those who "do know", by a ratio that is probably 'in the _thousands_' to one, if not higher.
Statistic: My provider has around a million customers. at _peak_times_ there are a couple of _hundred_ connections active to the news server. in the middle of the night, that number is around a -dozen-.

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On 25-Nov-2003, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

I distinctly remember when a local sysop was complaining that if Usenet continued to grow, he'd have to upgrade to a 20MB drive to contain it. That was an $800 upgrade for a clone!
Mike
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I go back to the days when you could get a 'full feed' over a 19.2kbit/sec dial-up modem -- in about 3 hrs. When it was possible to 'eyeball' _every_ article. And there were people who _did_ exactly that.
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I don't see Usenet dying at all. It is an expense to maintain Usenet servers, so to cut costs some ISPs don't offer them or only offer a small subset. I use AT&T because they carry a full set of newsgroups and have been very reliable.
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I think that you have to look at it from the business perspective of the ISPs. What they are seeing is that fewer and fewer of their new customers are using Usenet, or even know of it. Hence the ISPs get relatively few requests for Usenet news group access. When Comcast took over the @Home market here, they did not seem to have any plans to support Usenet until there was a significant outcry from existing customers.
For people who have come to the use of computers in the last five years, the Internet is the same as the Web. They have no idea of how many other services can ride over the basic bit transport of the Internet. And as more services, such as email, are web-ified, we lose some of the distinctive nature of services such as email, list servers and Usenet news groups.
The other factor which may be causing ISPs to consider dropping Usenet service is the danger of legal action for intellectual property violations. Let's be honest here. Many of the binary newsgroups are rampant with pirated software, music, video and images. Every time some idiot posts a copyrighted work without permission, every carrier and server that transports that post faces some risk of legal action. The ISPs may not be held liable, but even the threat of having to mount a legal defense in court is daunting to risk adverse corporations.
If you are worried about the health of Usenet, do two things - let you ISP know how important it is to you and introduce some other people to the wonders on news group resources.
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On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 18:22:07 -0500, "solarman"
here could NOT put up a private news server on the net for woodworking related posts? Then have a registration phase that everyone could go through to keep the riff raff out? I know Yahoo has the groups as does many others, but perhaps we could talk Jason into doing it as he hosts the space for us at www.wood-workers.com anyway... Might be worth looking into even if a small fee were involved. That makes folks tend to take better care of it anyway.
Yo, Solarman:
Since you're smart and stuff about this internet thing, you think you could figure out how to set your newsreader's word wrap? :)
Whiplash Mike
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Unfortunately the first response is pretty valid. Having been in the IT field for over 25 years and having worked for a few ISP's, I can say most ISP's don't want to expend the capital to support a small client base. The younger people, and a lot of uniformed people use chat rooms for similar information sharing (among other uses) Guess we're just dinosaurs........and I remember dialing into a BBS (bulletin board service) ........so there won't be any guessing what BBS means!
Dave

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David Babcock wrote:

My first computer/modem was a Monroe 220 with a 110 coupler doing a timeshare with Great Lakes Naval. Or an old Morrow if you want to talk PCs that were store bought not homebrew. As for BBSs I ran RBBS and Wildcat, the others were too clunky to be fun. And now my wife complains when her T-1 is slow. How times change.
Dave in Fairfax
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Tom Watson wrote:

Usnet mostly appeals to us old guys who were on the net back before the web came into being. I'd wager that the vast majority of ISPs are run by people who got into the computer scene late in the game, after the AOL revolution. These are people who are helpless if they can't point and click their way around a problem.
My own is no exception either. They really don't have a clue, and I'd wager they probably don't understand half of the things I use my connection to do. I'm totally beyond the realm of their tech support drones anyway because I run a Linux box. Boy, you should hear them babble pathetic excuses to me when I say the L word. :)

I get your posts. My primary server is at the University of Berlin. They give free accounts to anyone who's willing to abide by their very reasonable rules. It's the best free news server I've found, but even using that one and two others, I still frequently miss original posts.

Not fool-proof, but the best way I've found is to have multiple upstream servers. I'm not sure how you might go about doing that without running your own news spool, but you can run your own spool even on Windows. Something called Hamster I think. I know little about it, other than it's "the closest thing to Leafnode Windows has."
I have a crontab run fetchnews every 15 minutes, if I'm online. It pulls articles from my three upstream sources, then stores them on my hard drive. I connect to my own server and get the articles instantly. Posts go out every 15 minutes. I can also run fetchnews manually if I have some immediate need, such as sending out the last round of posts before going to bed, or starting the fetch as soon as I get home from work. It's a good way to go for a modem user too, since I don't have to wait for the individual articles to download. Once I'm reading, I'm reading; any waiting is up front.
The only down side of doing it this way is if you read a lot of groups. Fetchnews doesn't let you at any of the new stuff until the whole run is done, and if you subscribe to a couple dozen groups, it takes a good bit of time to finish (by modem anyway.) I tend to only read one or two at a time, so this is no problem. I can always connect to the upstream servers directly if I have some need to read a group to which I don't normally subscribe. KNode makes that easy.
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On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 22:04:11 -0500, Silvan wrote:

If your into a slight bit of hacking, google up "dnntpd".
-Doug
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